A man who was told five times that a persistent cough he had suffered for more than six months was harmless, is now tragically dying of lung cancer.
Over the space of two months, doctors repeatedly told the man - who is a non-smoker in his 30s - that his cough was most likely the result of a simple virus, despite the fact he was coughing up blood.
When he began noticing an ache around his ribs and coughing up more blood two months later he was taken to A&E in December last year.
When an x-ray confirmed the presence of a tumour on his lung he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of lung cancer that had spread to his liver and bones.
Despite being told his cancer is inoperable, the father-of-one is now undergoing the strongest chemotherapy available on the NHS in an effort to prolong his life.
Being in this 30s and having formerly lived a healthy and active life the man’s diagnosis came as a terrible shock to him and his family especially as there is no history of any type of cancer in his family.
Had he been older, he suspects his cough may not have been dismissed so easily. Although he was convinced himself that there was something seriously wrong with his health, he believes doctors deemed him too young to be suffering from lung cancer. Had his cancer been diagnosed earlier his prognosis may have been better.
Lung cancer is one the most common and serious types of cancer and although the disease mainly affects older people with cases rare in those under 40, this man’s story shows that anyone of any age can develop it.
More than 41,000 people are diagnosed with the disease each year in the UK and it is crucial people look out for symptoms so they can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.
Often in the early stages of lung cancer symptoms can be scarce. However, as the cancer develops symptoms can include coughing up blood, a persistent cough with associated pain and breathlessness, and unexplained fatigue and weight loss.
Sadly, because lung cancer often spreads unnoticed before someone is diagnosed, the outlook for those suffering with the disease can be bleak. Around one in three people with the condition will live for at least a year post-diagnosis, with around one in 10 able to survive for at least five years.
Paul Sankey is a Senior Medical Negligence Solicitor leading the Slater and Gordon Lawyers Clinical Negligence team in London.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers help people who have suffered from delayed or wrong diagnosis of lung cancer due to Medical Negligence.
For a free consultation call the Medical Negligence Solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9049 or contact us online and we will call you.
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